The Way Home
Credit: ©Hallmark Entertainment/Courtes

What’s a Hallmark show without a good mystery? Since the first episode of Hallmark Channel’s new time-traveling drama, viewers have had one question: What happened to Jacob in The Way Home?! Well, we have our answer, but with it comes even more questions than before.

The Way Home is Hallmark Channel drama series about Kat Landry and Alice Dhawan, a mother and daughter, who move back to the small farm town in Canada where Kat grew up and learn that they have the ability to time travel between the past and present by way of a mysterious pond on their family’s property. Jacob Landry is the son of Colton and Del Landry and the younger brother of Kat who went missing in 1999 and is presumed dead. The Way Home season 1 followed Kat as she investigated her younger brother’s disappearance and what really happened to him.

“There are so many things that I could actually relate to Kat personally about. And one of them was, I have two teenage daughters, 16 and 13,” Chyler Leigh, who plays Kat, told Southern Living in March 2023 about how she related to the family dynamic of The Way Home. “And while the family dynamics aren’t the same, it’s still, they are teenagers. My husband and I have been together, I was turning 17 when we met. And then I actually have a pretty estranged relationship with my mother that spans a couple of decades. So when this came into my lap, I was like what is happening? Granted, I don’t have a pond that can magically take you back to 1999, and again, all the circumstances aren’t exactly the same. However, there were so many aspects of it that I just really relate to and I think where I was able to contribute into Kat.”

But back to Jacob. So…what happened to Jacob in The Way Home and where is he now? Read on for what we know about what happened to Jacob in The Way Home and how season 2 will explore the mystery around him even more.

What happened to Jacob in The Way Home?

The Way Home

What happened to Jacob in The Way Home? In The Way Home season 1 finale, “Not All Who Wander Are Lost,” It’s revealed that that Jacob Landry—who went missing in 1999 and was presumed to be dead—is still alive and time-traveled to 1814 after he followed his dog, Finn, into the same family pond that sent his future niece, Alice Dhawan, back to the 1990s.

Kat Landry—Jacob’s older sister and the daughter of Colton and Del Landry—learns this after she reads a message from Jacob from 1814 in the family almanac, telling her where he was — and when. The final ended with the first scene from The Way Home premiere, which saw what looked like a witch dressed in white running through the woods in 1814 before jumping into the pond. The finale revealed that that witch was none other than Kat, who delivers a final line as she enters the pond: “I’ll be back, Jacob, I promise.”

In an interview with Tell Tale TV in March 2023, Chyler Leigh, who plays Kat and is also an executive producer on The Way Home, revealed that there were Easter eggs to Kat’s identity as the white witch throughout the season. “There was a scene in particular with Jacob and Danny, when they’re little, and Kat is being a creeper and she’s wearing a white shirt, I was wearing a long-sleeved white shirt. And so it was intentional and because I was like, ‘Hold up. Why would anybody jump into the water in a white shirt?’” Leigh said. “But it was intentional because he says, ‘The white witch,’ and then runs away.”

Executive producers Heather Conkie, Alexandra Clarke and Marly Reed also confirmed to TV Insider in March 2023 that episodes were edited earlier in season 1 to hint at what happened to Jacob in the finale. “We had to achieve the signposts all the way through of where we knew we had to be to get to where we wanted to end up, and then some of the parts of the story just fell apart,” Conkie said. “Peeling the onion made us realize at the writing stage that we had to go back and amend certain things in the earlier episodes to make that work really, really well. But for the most part, we really did have our tent poles, and we also had these intermediate goals, especially for the arcs of the characters.”

Clarke continued, “We always knew the midpoint carnival episode would be exactly where it was. That’s when things would really turn for the first time for our audience and the mood would shift. Up until then it was a bit of a nostalgic romp, which is fantastic and what we wanted to show. Episode 6 is where that it hits a bit of a reality check and we’re dealing with an eight-year-old going missing, and from then on the past doesn’t look as golden and glory days as it used to. We knew that by the end we would be where we were, as much as maybe the audience hates us for it.” Conkie added, “What we say in the room is that the show began with time traveling being a gift, and it went all the way through Episode 6 and on to become a curse. Hopefully we reverse that in season 2.”

Leigh also explained to TV Line in March 2023 why she thinks Kat was the first one to discover what happened to Jacob. “It kind of gets chalked up, again, to the fact that she’s a reporter. She’s a journalist, and so no matter what, getting to the bottom of everything has always been the through line for her,” she said. “It’s just what comes naturally in her personality and just her skill, and obviously that has a part to play. But [if] there’s any hope that she could find more answers, if there’s any hope she could find Jacob, she would never truly, truly give up… She’s going to go for it. Family is always first for her, which is one thing I definitely relate to as Chyler. So I think that, naturally, is just going to push her and propel her forward to go, “OK, no, there is so much more here. I’m going to figure this out.”

Leigh also hinted at how the revelation about Jacob will affect the rest of the Landrys, but especially Del, whom she believes to know about the lake. “Well, here’s my question, and I’m actually genuinely asking this question: Does Del know about the pond?” Leigh said. She continued, “I’m speaking now from a fan perspective because I don’t have all these answers yet, but I’m wondering myself. I’m kind of like, well, there’s still the questions [about seeing] this person that impacted your life all this time ago. Do you recognize them? Is there an aspect of that that still comes into play? Or is there some sort of like Men In Black, push-the-button [situation], and you don’t remember certain things? Does that come in, or has it always been there? Because that begs the question, too, of like Colton saying, ‘My Katherine.’ There’s something there as well.”

She added, “So do they know? Does Del know? When she takes Alice to the pond — and I always loved the line and it was kind of like, ‘Oooh, mysterious mysteries’ — she says, ‘The pond is a world all of its own’ and talks about the pond freezing over and that that is an indicator that seasons are changing, and obviously there’s more to that than saying like actual winter is coming.”

The Way Home

Will there be a season 2 of The Way Home?

Will there be a season 2 of The Way Home? The answer is yes. Deadline reported in March 2023 that Hallmark Channel had renewed The Way Home for a second season.

“The press and our audience have enthusiastically embraced The Way Home from the first episode making the decision to renew the series an easy one,” Lisa Hamilton Daly, Executive Vice President, Programming at Hallmark Media said in a statement at the time. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue the journey of the Landry family and can’t wait for fans to see what’s next.” Laurie Ferneau, Senior Vice President, Development at Hallmark Media, continued,“Heather Conkie, Alexandra Clarke and Marly Reed have created a rich, textured story filled with heart and mixed with intrigue that’s proven to be a winning combination. Season two is sure to bring more drama and mystery as the Landry family’s history is revealed.”

Chyler Leigh, who plays Kat, confirmed to Tell Tale TV in March 2023, that Jacob’s time-traveling will be a main storyline in The Way Home season 2. “And if that’s exactly where Jacob is, then how old is he? What is his story like at this point? What did happen? But where is he now? And what kind of life has he had to make over there if the pond didn’t bring him back to where you need to be?” Leigh said. “And does Kat always need to go back to the 1800s? And what does that spark? Does that help us discover how the pond came to be at all? Which is, I think, definitely something that we are exploring in season 2. We need to know the origin story of one of the biggest characters in the show, which is the pond.”

At the time the finale aired, Leigh told TV Line in March 2023 that she only knew “bits and pieces” of where Kat and Jacob’s storylines would be in season 2. “I’m getting little bits and pieces. I know they’re in the writers’ room as we speak right now,” she said. “That is one thing I’m so excited about is to just get back there and figure out how did Kat get there. What has it been like? Because they call her, obviously, like a witch. So the idea of her being able to predict or know the future back in a time when witches or anybody with some sense of clairvoyance were being burned at the stake, hence the pitchforks and the angry people coming after her.” She continued, “And the way that she looks. How did she get to that point? I loved seeing the majority of people think that it’s Alice. I think that’s solely because of, obviously, the long hair. So how her hair is so long, and how she looks and why she looks the way she does, why she’s wearing that outfit, is all definitely going to be part of the explanation pretty quick once we jump into season 2.”

The Way Home is available to stream on Hallmark Movies Now.

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